I took a shower, but was a little late in getting down to breakfast so I just grabbed a water and a bocadillo on the way out the door. I was pretty disappointed when I saw that it was tuna and cheese and I threw it out. Tuna is definitely not one of my favorites. In Literature, we had presentations that took up most of class. The most interesting presentation was on “Generacion 98.” Spanish literature groups some prolific or influential writers of their time into generations. It is really cool to look at the similarities in message, writing style.
In Culture, we had more presentations. David and I presented on Spanish history starting with Carlos IV (the king of Spain during Napoleon’s reign) leading up through the industrial revolution. The presentations went well and we talked about all of the rituals for Semana Santa in Spain. Processions are a similarity between all of the regions. For penance, men can volunteer to hoist very heavy religious relics and statues of Jesus or Mary and carry them all around the city. In the north there is a region called Navarra that has a procession that is in complete silence and held at night. The tone is much more serious and it is meant for reflection. In the South such as Sevilla there is applause and talking is permitted. The most well known relic is a statue of Mary crying called the Madre Macarena. It is Mary depicted as a woman that has very similar looks to an Andalucian woman so it is very important to the south of Spain.
After class, I ate lunch and shortly after went with Dave, Ben and Rebecca to el Rio to throw a Frisbee. It was fun except we had a little wind issue; the Frisbee wasn’t heavy enough and it would go wherever it desired when thrown. After we got tired of fighting the wind, we went over to one of the large jungle gyms and climbed up two huge rope towers that were strung like a spider web. Dave and I sat at the top for a while and just people watched. There were jugglers that were actually very good and I assume they were practicing for a street show or something. Also there was a group of four teenagers that had buried a bouncy ball halfway in the sand and were using it for an extra help on jumps. They were doing all sorts of cool twists and flips.
We got back at like 6:00 and right as I was sitting down, Ashley came in my room and asked if any of us wanted to go to a café. I quickly said I wanted to go because I really felt like just being out in the city. We went to a new place that I had never been to. I didn’t try any but Ashley said the hummus is excellent. I had a café con leche and started to finish the Alchemist. I really got into it the last part of the book and I especially liked the ending. The book was really good and I thought it had a lot of great messages.
We got back to the dorm at around 8:00. I put down my book and went straight down. We had chicken nuggets (which I made a sandwich with) and my favorite pizza bread. They were out of orange soda so I settled for a water. After dinner, I worked on a Spanish assignment for business class; we had to write a letter to a business describing a product we were selling. After, I went with a few people to O’Haras. We hung out for a couple hours before I came back around 11:00. I played around on the computer for a while and went to bed around 12:30. Today was perfect, great weather, great people and a great city.
I woke up and took a shower and had a café con leche before I headed out to class. The weather has been absolutely perfect lately. In class, a couple of people had presentations on Spanish business and we worked on more exercises with travel vocabulary and corrected them. Class went pretty quickly and I didn’t even notice that the hour and a half was over.
During my break, I needed a Spanish student help with correcting an assignment for my Linguistics class. To select the student that could help me, I just went to the cafeteria and looked at the students that looked like they had nothing better to do and just asked them. Two students helped me and it was painless on both sides of the transaction; my paper was short and I understood what they were saying to me. After, I went up to the computer lab and mapped out all of the classes I would like to take this summer and the fall to finish up my graduation requirements. It was actually pretty exciting.
In Linguistics class, we learned more about pronouns. There is light at the end of the tunnel and I think that I am finally getting the hang of all the rules for different usages. We corrected some homework exercises to finish up class. Before I knew it, it was 2:00 and we were out the door on the way back to the dorm. For lunch, I made a steak sandwich. They had brought out a fresh batch of fries as I was going through line that were exceptionally good.
I spent most of the afternoon on the rooftop patio. I fell asleep for a little bit and woke up feeling reenergized and ready for the last part of the day. I headed back downstairs and skyped with Laura for a little bit before our weekly meeting with the UGA group. The meeting was pretty short and we all went straight to dinner after. For dinner, I had a ham and cheese melt, some curry chicken and rice. I have normally always had French fries instead of rice, but the changeup was great.
After dinner, I didn’t do too much. I hung out in everyone’s room until about 11:30 before I decided it would be smart to get a full night sleep. It felt great to get into bed and I didn’t waste much time in falling asleep.
I woke up and headed straight down to lunch. I accidentally had mixed up my lunch tickets and turned Sunday’s in on Saturday. When I went down to lunch the ladies started to make a big stink about me not having the corresponding date and almost didn’t give me food. I was really surprised too because I thought they liked me. I would have been just as good without food too, they were poorly cooked turkey legs and they didn’t have French fries either.
After lunch, I had to figure out my train ticket to Madrid and I needed to figure out a way to get money from my account. I talked with Visa, Bank of America and my parents multiple times to try and figure out the logistics to get money. I found out Suzanne had Bank of America so I could transfer funds to her account and have her get cash from the ATM. The only problem is I didn’t have my check card, which was necessary to complete the transaction. My dad saw that the card had come in the mail, so I had him activate the card. I eventually transferred the money to Suzanne and got to an ATM. It had been 11 days since I had cash and it felt good.
Dave, Mary Claire and I went to the train station because she needed to buy two train tickets for her mom (who was visiting later that day) and her friend, Cindy. Today was much easier at the Renfe counter, my ticket was immediately called and I got my ticket no problem. After I got back, we continued our usual afternoon ritual of hanging out in Diego or my room.
After about forty-five minutes, I heard Taylor, Kristen and Molly were heading out to get some snacks. I was a little hungry so I decided to tag along. We went to a convenience store called Alimentacion Wang and I got some Principie cookies, Orange soda, and my favorite microwave popcorn. I haven’t had it in two months. Kristen and Molly wanted crepes so we went to Plaza de la Virgen to get some. The weather was so nice out and the plaza was busy because of Palm Sunday. The night before, we set the clocks hour a forward so the sun was still out until about 7:30. It was great.
After, I went back and ate dinner at about 8:30. After, Mary Claire asked if I wanted to go to get some tapas with her mom and Cindy. They are both Delta flight attendants and had a couple day layover in Barcelona so they decided to visit for the night. We went to Café Paris, Bar Pilar and Negrito for the same night that we had when Mrs. Attaway visited last. We had calamari, patatas bravas with garlic aeoli, plenty of mussels, olives, bread and grilled vegetables. It was awesome. I loved meeting Cindy and talking with Mrs. Attaway. We were out for a while and I didn’t get back until past 12:00. I skype Laura and headed to bed. It was such a calm, perfect weekend.
I set my alarm to wake up in time for breakfast but the Doner pizza wasn’t settling too well in my stomach so I went back to sleep. I woke up in time to rush down to lunch and get ready to head to the beach with everyone. We took the metro; while we were riding Diego, Scott, Taylor and I guessed what time we would get there. I was four seconds off. Not too bad. There was a crowd that had left a little bit earlier in the morning so we had a pretty big group when we got there.
The beach was packed and the sun felt great. We threw a tennis ball around and laid around. It was so relaxing. I ran and took a plunge in the Mediterranean. The water was freezing but it cooled me off. After the sun started to go down, we decided to call it a day. We caught the metro back. Everyone was pretty exhausted and tried to catch a power nap while we rode home.
When we got back to the dorm, I showered and talked to Laura for a bit before dinner. She has been busy, but loving it. At dinner the cafeteria pulled a quick one on us and gave us hamburgers without buns. I made mine into a hamburger on a hoagie with tomato and lettuce. It was actually pretty good. The first course was chicken noodle soup that didn’t disappoint as well.
After dinner, I hung out in Diego’s room until about 11:30. We listened to a lot of music, looked up soccer matchups and watched funny youtube videos. At 11:30 everyone decided to go to O’Haras for a little bit. I hadn’t seen Juanjo in about two weeks so I told him my story over Fallas. He was concerned for me and was really nice about everything. I left at about 12:15 and headed back to the dorm. I talked to Laura for about thirty minutes before I went to bed. I had trouble falling asleep but managed to drift into slumber before 1:30.
Sleeping in on Fridays has been great. I got out of bed around the time everyone was getting back from class and I went down to lunch and ate with everyone. The weather was absolutely perfect out so a lot of us spent a couple of hours on the rooftop patio during the afternoon. I read some more of the Alchemist. It is a really good book, it is a simple read and there are a lot of good things to take from it.
At about 4:00 I went to the train station to purchase a ticket to meet my parents in Madrid on the April 1. A lot of people must have had the same idea because the ticket windows were packed. I took a number and had to wait about forty-five minutes to be called. After all of the waiting, I got turned away. Mary Claire was letting me use her credit card (mine is coming with my parents) and I was going to reimburse her when I got my card. Since she wasn’t there with me they wouldn’t let me make the purchase.
I was a little disappointed that I had spent that much time all for nothing but the weather was still perfect and walking around the city was great. After I got back, I skyped with Laura until dinnertime. They have a new system for getting meals that was implemented this weekend. We need to go to reception before 2:00 on the Thursday before and collect tickets for each meal we go to. It is kind of a pain. I feel bad because some of the people in our group didn’t get the memo and some are without meal tickets for the weekend.
After dinner, I hung out on the first floor with everyone. Some people got ready while some just chatted and surfed the Internet. Diego and Taylor ended up staying in with me and we watched the Big Lebowski. It was hilarious. After the movie was over, we were pretty hungry so we went to Doner Kebab and got a medium pizza. The all recognize the three of us in there so the guys working gave us a lot of extra hot sauce. We carried the pizza back to the dorm and ate it.
I watched a little bit of the Michigan State game on Diego’s computer before I decided to turn in for the night. It was a great day.
**I have been slacking a little in taking new pictures, so I put some more up from Fallas at the Mesclata.
I woke up, took a shower and had a coffee and some toast at breakfast before leaving for class. The weather has been absolutely perfect in the morning and I have loved making the walk in the morning. In Literature, Joe and I presented on Griselda Gambaro a Argentinean playwright that wrote Antigona Furisoa, a play that has the same premise and story as Antigone it just has been set in Argentina during the Guerra Sucia (Dirty War). I have enjoyed doing these presentations this year because it has allowed me to focus on a couple authors and get to know them in-depth. After the presentation, we had a worksheet on Lorca’s La Casa de Bernarda Alba so I got to help a lot of my classmates because I had already read it and wrote my paper on it.
In Culture class, everyone had a presentation due on Spanish history. We all got DVD’s from a certain time period and have to create a powerpoint. Since our presentation is on Spanish history during the French Revolution, we didn’t get to present but we are going next Tuesday. I was so happy it was the weekend. I have really enjoyed this week and I feel like I am back in the swing of things. For lunch we had a Spaghetti Carbonara that I cut chunks of ham into and made a sandwich out of it, I topped it with some olive oil and oregano and it was perfect.
After lunch, I went up to the rooftop and hung out for a while. Everyone was mostly getting ready for a paper so I updated my blog and surfed the Internet for a while. Laura had a break in between classes so we kept each other company while she went over some of her speech she had later to be elected the Chair of Arch Society. It is one of the biggest honors to hold that position at UGA. They are basically a direct link between President Adams and the rest of Arch society. After we got off, I hung out in Diego’s room until around dinnertime.
I got a chance to talk to my Mom, which has been hard lately because my free time normally corresponds with when she is busiest. I am so excited for both of my parents to be visiting especially to show them the three cities I feel like I know best in Spain.
After dinner, some people went out but I decided it was best to stay in. I waited, watching the phone to hear how the Laura’s election went. I was ecstatic when I got an email saying that she had won! It is almost impossible to be a president of a student organization at UGA but to be the president of two organizations, especially as prestigious as Tri Delt and Arch society is really saying something. I talked to her for a little bit before I decided to catch up on some rest that I might have lost this past week. I passed out pretty quickly after we got off Skype.
**The two pictures are from La Plaza de la Virgen y of me and Laura with Enrique (the owner of Casa de Enrique in Granada)
I was a little late getting down to the cafeteria for breakfast, so I grabbed a quick piece of toast with strawberry jam and a bocadillo with ham and goat cheese for a snack in between classes. In Business, we spent most of the time talking about how to write a letter to businesses explaining products or services that your business offers. After class got out, Ashley and I decided to walk back to the dorm; two hours in the cafeteria of the fiologia building can get very long. When we got back to the dorm we worked on a quick exercise for our next class and hung out for about thirty minutes. Walking back to the dorm was a perfect was to split up the time.
In Linguistics, we started to talk about pronouns. I had never really learned pronouns well, so this class helped a lot. I have enjoyed this class a lot because I can take what we are learning in class and apply it to my everyday Spanish conversation. When I have been learning grammar at UGA, I only practice what is being taught in class. I was starving by the time I got back to the dorm. I made a steak and potato sandwich and had a much needed orange soda (the cafeteria has been out of orange soda for the past week and a half).
After lunch and before our group activity for the afternoon, I watched and took notes on two thirty minute videos that David White and I needed to present on in Culture class. The videos were pretty thick and it took me a while to get through them both.
About eight of us met in the lobby at 6:00 and walked about a block away to plaza de la Virgen. Right near the basilica is a building called L’Almoina (Alimony) that houses Roman ruins from before and after Christ. The building shelters almost a city block of excavated ruins. It was one of the most interesting thing I have seen since being in Valencia. The buildings consisted of the Forum, a food/grain storage building, wells, public baths and also a chunk of a street.
The building itself had a really interesting design. We couldn’t actually walk on the Roman ruins itself but the building had glass cat walks with rails that allowed us to walk right over the ruins and allowed for us to examine the ruins closely without actually damaging them. I think it is just so cool that I am living in a city that dates back to before Christ.
Our tour finished right around dinnertime. We had one of my favorites Curry chicken, I made a chicken and fry sandwich and had some chicken noodle soup too. David and I spent the rest of the night working on the presentation. The hard part was there is so much information in the videos, but we had to cut our presentation to only 5-10 minutes. We finished around 12:30 though and I headed to bed shortly there after.
I woke up thirty minutes early to grab a shower, eat a good breakfast and review the material for the test. I made flash cards for all of the countries and capitals, so I spent most of my walk quizzing myself. First I had literature. We got back our tests from the Thursday before Fallas; I made a 90. I was very happy with it. After, we started our unit on drama and theater.
We got out of class a few minutes early so we quizzed each other while we waited for the test to start. The test itself wasn’t too bad. We had a break in the hall after we finished and before we started class again. We all discussed answers and I felt very good about how I did. When class started again, we talked about common traits of Spanish Architecture through history. It was very interesting to look at the Roman, Greek, Arab and some Germanic influence on the whole country.
After class, I set off for the post office. I knew it was in Plaza de Ayuntamiento (where the Mesclata took place) but it is a big plaza and I wasn’t sure of exactly which building it was. After asking a few people, I got pointed to the right building and went inside. The post office was set up completely different. There were about four counters with each line having a specific purpose. I asked a couple more people and finally was pointed to the right line. After, I headed back to the dorm; I ate lunch and spent most of the afternoon hanging out. I have been doing some extra work and writing on a Spanish blog that some University of Valencia students set up. I read an interesting article about Spanish words that go extinct.
Dinner was delicious. We had the spicy Cajun chicken wings and a cheese plate. The only sad thing is we were starving because they only gave us four wings. We decided to go to Doner Kebab at about 11:00. I split a medium pizza with Scott and Ben. It’s a great deal because you get two slices for the price one when you combine your money. After I got back to the dorm, I stayed awake for a little bit to digest but fell asleep pretty quickly after my head hit the pillow.
Waking up wasn’t too hard at all. I was actually pretty excited to get back into the swing of everything, plus I have been waking up to Yael Naim- New Soul lately and it does the trick. the song is kind of old but it always puts me in the greatest mood. It was a warm spring day out. In business class we had some in class exercises to work on while Virginia met with us and gave us our test back, I got an 85 but with the fifteen points extra credit, I got a 100.
During my break, I put the finishing touches on my composition for 4010. We had to write an informal letter about recent travels. I wrote to Ryan about my trip with Laura. After, I headed up to the computer lab in the school building to work on my presentation due on Wednesday for business class. Ashley, Dave and I are presenting on Coca-Cola España. It has actually been pretty interesting, I thought that the United States consumed the most Coke in the world but actually its Mexico in first, next the U.S. and than Spain in third.
In Adela’s class, we corrected some exercises on the Subjunctive and started the conditional tense. While it was kind of tiring, I enjoyed going back to class. Of course I love not having class, but I always leave class feeling so much better about my Spanish. I walked back and grabbed lunch; I made a buffalo chicken sandwich using my last packet of buffalo sauce that Laura had brought me. It has been great while it lasted and definitely a good meal to use my last packet of coveted sauce on.
I was happy with my full stomach after lunch and went on the patio for about 40 minutes with Dave, Alex and Mary Claire and we started to study for our Culture midterm. Our test is over the countries and capitals of Europe, the autonomous states and provinces of Spain (of course in Spanish), and the culture scavenger hunt we had. I found out about a sight that had interactive quizzes that covered all of the material I needed to know for the geography was on a website. I headed back downstairs and got to work.
Laura and I skyped for a while in the afternoon while I worked on some laundry and practiced more quizzes. Right around dinner, I talked to my Dad about our plans for my parents’ trip in ten days. I am so excited to show them around Madrid, Barcelona and of course Valencia. I had to split my conversation in two parts because we had our weekly activity meeting starting at 8:00. After the meeting and getting off the phone with my Dad for the second time, I went down to dinner. I had some pizza bread and a tortilla sandwich. Tortilla is egg, onion and cheese that is cooked almost like a quiche and cut into pieces. Taylor let me borrow some Tabasco sauce and it was really good.
I went back to studying for most of the night. I had been studying forever but decided to go to sleep around 2:00. I felt ready for my test.
**I need to take more pictures, but in the mean time I figured I would put up more Fallas pictures.
I woke up earlier than everyone else, so I decided to watch a few more episodes of entourage. Laura was waking up early to go to breakfast with some of her friends so I talked to her for a little bit, which led me to lunch time. The cafeteria food is definitely starting to take a wear on me. I am normally a creature of habit, but I still like a little variety.
After, I went with Caroline and Ashley to find a café with wifi. There was a slight drizzle outside but the temperature was perfect. We walked around for a bit, but were unsuccessful finding anywhere that was open. I decided just to head back to the dorm and use the Internet there. I worked on figuring out my schedule for this summer and next fall which was kind of stressful, I have to write my senior thesis next fall and I have only had two classes in my major thus far. Neither here nor there, it will all work out.
Everyone had a very relaxing day; most of us napped or hung out in each other’s rooms. For dinner, we had some chicken noodle and vegetable soup a roast that wasn’t too bad; it made a pretty good sandwich. After we finished eating, we continued to hang out and get in the mindset of going back to school. It is incredible to think that I had only been to two classes in sixteen days; even crazier to think that we have eight days off for Semana Santa during the first week of April.
I have been following the NCAA tournament, even though my bracket is shot. I watched the buzzer beater Michigan State had to beat Maryland, which was pretty exciting. I was pretty exhausted and had to wake up early for the first time in a while. It was a very relaxing Sunday and I feel about 99% recovered after Tuesday.
It was crazy waking up to silence on the streets. No loud parades, no loud fireworks, no hustle and bustle of people by my window, only the faint sound of a car passing every now and then. It was very peaceful. I laid in bed for a while and enjoyed the morning. I called Laura at around 2:00 and we skyped while she was getting ready for her big house tour for the 75th anniversary of Tri Delta. After we got off, I went down and had some lunch. I wasn’t feeling too hungry so I only had some bread and a yogurt.
I came back up to my room and hung out with everyone for a little bit. The past week had taken a huge toll on everyone and everyone was just in relaxation/recovery mode. At around 4:00 I went with Laura G. and Scott to Mercadona. I was just itching to get out and walk around. It was overcast but the temperature was perfect, it was in the low 70’s and the humidity was perfect. It was crazy being on the streets, it was like the whole week before hadn’t happened; the mounds of trash, the street vendors and the ninots were all long gone. It was crazy.
I picked up some snack foods at Mercadona, some bread and cheese and some chips for Mary Claire and Alex. After I talked with everyone for a bit, I spent a better part of my evening watching Entourage. Allie let me have the complete series from her itunes so I have been catching up on all the episodes I have missed, it’s actually quite addicting.
At 8:30 or so Dave came in and asked if I wanted to go with some others and his parents out to eat. I have loved meeting all the parents that have come in to visit and I immediately agreed to go. We took a taxi from Plaza de Reina to an upscale all you can eat sushi place called Osaka II. The food was incredible. We all sat around a table and the servers just kept bringing us all the sushi we could imagine. I have never really had sit down sushi before and I really enjoyed it. Dave’s parents were really great too; it made me excited for my parents to be coming in. I got to try so many new foods that I never had before.
We all took a cab back home and I talked to Laura for a couple minutes about how the tour had gone; she had only good news. After we got off the phone, I started where I left off with Entourage. I watched a few episodes, but turned it off when my eyes started to get heavy around 1:00.
**I put up a couple more pictures of ninots from Fallas.
I woke up around 11:00 and laid in my bed for a while, it was relaxing to hear the people passing by my window but have the room in complete darkness. I got out of bed at around 11:45 because Scott was going around trying to rally people to go to the Mesclata. I figured since it was the last day I should. I was glad I went, The noise was deafening. The streets were jammed packed with people and today there was another obstacle: umbrellas. There was a slight drizzle and everyone seemed to have an umbrella that I was right at about eye level with.
Those of us that went to the Mesclata all ate lunch when we got back. It was chicken paella and lemon chicken with French fries. It was pretty good. After, I hung out with Scott, Diego and Dave and we talked about all the fireworks Diego was looking to buy. The fireworks you can buy in stores here and very strong and Diego has always seemed to have a surplus the entire week. I decided to take a nap when they headed to the store. It was a good, hard three-hour nap.
I woke up and checked some of the NCAA scores, I was surprised that day two of the tournament wasn’t as full of as many upsets as day one was. I talked to Laura after dinner for a little bit and we set up a skype date at 11:30. She has been busy with her Sorority’s 75th anniversary this week and has a lot on her plate to do.
While she was running errands, I went to check out some of the Fallas that had started burning. At 10:00 they only started burning the Fallas Infantil which are the smaller ninots that circle around the huge structures. While I didn’t see the large ones burning, turning the corner and seeing a fire in the middle of a plaza is pretty surprising. Diego, Greg, Dave, Dave and I went to the Rio while Diego and Greg lit off some fireworks there. We stayed for about fifteen minutes then took a round about way back to the dorm because we wanted to see the completed Mary in la Plaza de la Virgen.
It was stunning. I couldn’t believe how many roses there were. The excess flowers they used and adorned the walls and walkways all near the statue of Mary. It was so cool. I got back just in time to have Laura call. I talked to her for about an hour before I decided to head to bed. To be honest, I was happy going to bed knowing that when I woke up Fallas would be over. I think that it is a great festival but it is way too overwhelming.
Despite the hours of parades passing my balcony all night, I had no trouble sleeping for 11 hours. I woke up at 12:00 feeling a lot better. I threw in another load of laundry (this time whites) and did my blog and looked up some previews for the upcoming NCAA tournament games. At about 2:00, I went down to lunch with some people. I made a pasta sandwich and had some French fries which is always a good way to start off the day.
I hung out with everyone and heard some really fun stories that went on while I wasn’t there, it sounds like craziness out there. At about 4:30 I was exhausted again and took another nap. Tough life right? When I woke up I had the chance to talk to my Dad, which was good because I hadn’t gotten a chance yet since what happened on the 16th.
I spent most of the night watching the craziness that was the NCAA tournament yesterday. My computer can get full coverage from NCAA.com so I watched almost all of the upsets. My heart goes out to the Irish and a terrible showing from the Big East on Day 1. I also watched leg two of the Valencia vs. Werder Bremen soccer game. Valencia ended up drawing 4-4 but since we had more away goals than they scored when they visited us last Thursday, we advance.
I went to dinner around 9:00 and had some soup, salmon and of course French fries. The salmon was actually really good; I was skeptical at first. After dinner, I went with Kristen and Stockton to the convenience store around the corner. The streets were so packed and so loud, I decided I needed to stay in one more night and skip the fireworks. I took a shower and hung out with everyone while they were getting ready to go out. They left around 12:00 for what was the biggest fireworks show of the week.
When they left, I came back to my room and watched a few episodes of Entourage before I went to bed. It was a relaxing, perfect night.
I kept coming in and out at the hospital. I didn’t remember any of the night before, just overcome with a want to be back at the Rector Peset and in my dorm. All throughout the morning, the nurses would keep waking me up and ask my information. My insurance policy was stolen along with my wallet so I was an unregistered “15 year old” according to my hospital bracelet. I asked a man to go to the bathroom and he took me over. While I was in the bathroom I thought to myself, I need to get out of here. It was a terrible decision but a mixture of shock/fear made me pull my IV out and walk out the hospital door.
Now that I was out, I had no idea where I was. My face was swollen and my pants had been covered in blood. I’m sure I looked absolutely awful and frankly I was very embarrassed, but now to get home. I talked to a very nice old lady that took sympathy for me and she pointed me in the direction of the right bus I needed and gave me 2 euros too. It was so nice of her. I looked just like any bum that roams these streets but I guess she could tell I was in a predicament. The bus ride seemed like thirty minutes but I got off and started walking toward our neighborhood. It was only about 11:30 when I got back to Barrio del Carmen (our neighborhood) but the streets were already alive. I had the worst walk of shame I ever thought imaginable.
I got back to the dorm and all the students in the group were being so nice. I just was so happy to have gotten back to my family over here. They told me that Aitor (one of our program directors) was looking for me and they went on got him. I took a quick shower, the best one I had ever had. Got dressed and had to go back to the hospital. Everyone was afraid that my nose was broken and I needed an x-ray. Stockon was so nice and she came with us. The waiting room took forever. I had an x-ray and snoozed in a chair while we were waiting. A doctor finally called me and all he said was that it wasn’t broken and I needed to put ice on it. I was so thankful that nothing was broken.
Stockton, Aitor and I all took the metro back. The offering of the roses was going on and a huge parade blocked the major streets we needed to cross to get back to the dorm. It took us a good forty-five minutes to get across two blocks but we finally did it and we finally got back. I took a nap for a few hours and woke up at 9:30, I hadn’t eaten yet all but I decided to go grab a piece of pizza that they had down in the cafeteria.
I hung out in Ben and Dave’s room while they were getting ready to go out. They left at about 11:30 for the fireworks show and I came back to my room and skyped Laura. Everyone has been so nice about this whole situation. I am so lucky to be all right; everything could have been so much worse. I made a series of mistakes the other night that could have prevented this whole situation from happening. These past 24 hours have been crazy.
I woke up at around 11:00 and threw a load of laundry in, I hadn’t done any since Barcelona and I was definitely due. Everyone started waking up one by one for the Mesclata and we left at about 1:20 for it. Today it was awesome; each day gets progressively stronger and I can’t imagine what it will be like on the last day of Fallas. I talked to a guy in a suit that actually is the Vice President of a consulting firm here in Valencia. I should have asked him for an internship or at least his business card.
We got back and had lunch. They haven’t had orange soda this week, which has been pretty disappointing. We had only forty-five minutes until our group activity so a few of us went on the rooftop patio to enjoy how much of a beautiful night it was. Our activity was going around and looking at the ninots that have won prizes. They are so incredibly cool. Each ninot is so creative and so colorful. Diego and I ended up getting separated from the group after about an hour and we decided just to continue the tour ourselves.
There was a parade going on and all of the little girls looked so cute dressed as Falleras. A walking band started a street chant and surrounded us as we walked with them. It was the coolest experience ever; they started dancing and had a whole cheer that everyone yelled. We headed back to the dorm at about 6:00 and I hung out with everyone in Diego’s room until around dinnertime. The choices of food wasn’t my all time favorite but I settled on some chicken croquet bites and some French fries.
After dinner, I showered and we all met up to leave. Since the street is one big party, we all decided to get good seats for the firework show and just hang out where they are launched. I met a lot of really cool people while we were waiting; I have really enjoyed talking Spanish because I feel like it has really improved. The fireworks were great, and our seats couldn’t have been better.
After the show, we hung out there for a while before we started moving. I ended up getting separated from the UGA group because I was dumb and followed some Spanish students who said they wanted to hang out with me. I hung out with them for a while until we lost ways. At this point I was pretty lost and was really wishing I had a cell phone to meet up with everyone.
I don’t remember much of what happened next, only being pushed to the ground in the middle of the street and having six Spanish guys kick and punch me. They stole my wallet and 100 euros and they left me unconscious in the middle of the street. An ambulance took me to the hospital at 6:00 but I actually didn’t come to until I was in the hospital. It was the craziest thing that has ever happened to me. While it sounds awful, it could have been so much worse.
**I will explain more of what happened tomorrow, I am just so thankful that nothing too bad happened. My nose is not broken (which the doctors thought at first) and my lip is just really swollen.
Supposedly there are people that walk the streets at 8 a.m. and throw loud fireworks to wake everyone up. I heard no such noise; I slept hard until around 1:30. We all woke up and went to the Mesclata (the loud fireworks), The show was so loud and so impressive. The finale was so awesome; it followed such a rhythmic beat. I wish there was a better way to describe it. We came back and had lunch. Food tasted awesome.
We went out to the store to buy some drinks and fireworks. The weather was absolutely perfect and the sun felt great. We took our time, exploring a lot of side streets and taking pictures of ninots. The streets are crazy, there are so many people walking. I have loved Fallas; the city is really alive. When we got back I took a couple hour nap until our meeting of the events with Aitor at 8:00. There are some really cool events planned this week in regards to Fallas.
After the meeting we had dinner, I enjoyed a buffalo chicken and fry sandwich with an orange soda. After dinner, I showered and we all had a pretty good-sized party in Mary Claire’s room. Right before 12:00 we walked to the Rio for a fireworks show that the city puts on for everyone each night. It was incredible. We didn’t have the best spot because there was a building partly blocking the show but the part that I did see looked awesome.
On the way back, we were walking in the streets and singing, “hey, hey baby I want to know if you’ll be my girl.” Everyone was singing along with us and it was really fun. We walked around the Rio and set off some fireworks, some are so loud, almost to the point of making your ears ring.
We went back to the dorm and hung out with everyone until late. We have been having such a good time, I can’t wait for the people in our group who have been traveling to get back.
**The pictures are of the ninot in Plaza de Ayuntamiento (where the Mesclata is) and of the wooden structure of Mary that will have the floral dress after the offering.
Our hotel offered a free shuttle to the airport that we met down in the lobby at 8:45. We arrived at the airport and started looking for the Delta counter. Of course with my luck, I waited in the wrong line and after thirty minutes we were directed to another line. The Delta ticket line was crazy, bad weather in New York canceled two flights so there were a lot of people trying to juggle their schedule and get over to the U.S. For some security reasons, I wasn’t allowed to stand with her as she waited though which surprised me.
While she was in line, I went all the way down to the other end of the airport to get my passport checked for my Ryanair flight. I got back just as she was finishing. I wasn’t allowed to go to her gate either so we had to part ways. I had such an incredible time while she was here. I got to enjoy Spain with my best friend.
I found my gate for my flight and had 3 and a half hours to kill before it left. I sat down on a bench and started reading. After about an hour and a half, I went to a restaurant in the airport and had a bocadillo and an orange soda. It was really good. I continued to read while I was at the restaurant. A Chinese girl who is studying in Italy come and sit at my table because there was no more room in the restaurant. She had spent the week in Madrid and had talked about how much she liked it. I told her about how cool Valencia, Barcelona and Granada all were. It was really cool to talk about Spain like it was my own.
After she left, I finished my book. It was a little hard to follow and definitely has not been my favorite of what I have read this trip. I went back to my gate and started reading the Alchemist. I heard it had life changing effects on people and I am interested in finishing it. So far it I have really liked, it is a very easy read. We loaded on the plane and had a very easy flight. I hopped on the metro and took it to the train station stop.
As soon as I came out of the metro tunnel I could tell that Fallas had started. It looks like a huge street party and sounds like a war zone. Even the little kids here light off huge, loud fireworks. Pandemonium. I got back to the dorm and just as I had everyone was leaving for the beach. I changed quickly and dropped off my stuff and went.
We took the metro out to the beach and set up camp on a blanket Caroline had brought. We hung out for a couple hours, while I kicked the soccer ball with Diego. The wind was blowing and as soon as the sun went down, it got pretty cold. My sweater kept me warm. We took the metro back and got back just in time for dinner.
After dinner a few of us went to Escalones de la Lonja and had a drink. I had a carajillo de Baileys that was absolutely awesome. It warmed me up perfectly. We went back to the dorm for a while and hung out for longer before we went to O’Haras and hung out for a long time. Then I went with Diego and Taylor to a really cool Spanish guy named Alberto’s place. Him and about seven of his friends split the cost of renting a store front in the city. They turned it into a really cool “man pad” with a t.v., poker table, ping pong table and plenty of couches. It’s really fun.
We stayed there for a while before we started back toward the dorm. At almost every major intersection there is a ninot that is so big, so cool and so creative. It made the thirty minute walk go really fast because we kept looking for a new ninot to look at. We hung out in the room until around 5:00 until I decided to head to bed. Fallas has begun and it is crazy.
I woke up early before I met up with Laura and went and bought our train tickets to Madrid for the night. The train wasn’t scheduled to leave until 6:50 at night, so we had almost a full day left in the city. Laura hadn’t gotten a chance to go shopping yet, so I promised her I would take her. We went into a lot of shops, but prices were pretty steep and she didn’t actually buy anything.
We got back to the dorm around 1:30, right as a huge group was leaving for the Mesclata. The Mesclata is a huge, daily fireworks show that starts at 2:00 in the afternoon in the Plaza de Ayuntamiento (one of the city’s main plaza’s). It is more meant to be loud than an actual light show. The state of Valencia is actually the number two producer of fireworks in the World, behind China. Traffic was closed off and the streets were packed with people.
Laura and I were pretty hungry so we bought some homemade potato chips from a street vender and munched on those as we waited for it to stop. The show goes on for about five minutes. It starts of slow and builds to a loud pandemonium; you can literally feel everything around you shaking. It was incredible.
After we all came back and ate lunch. A few of us went on the rooftop patio and hung out since it was such a nice day. A few of us dozed off for a couple of hours and I woke up feeling so refreshed. I packed up my book bag and printed off my boarding pass/hotel confirmation. Laura and I said our goodbyes then headed for the train station. We got to the train station with twenty minutes until our train left. As we were waiting we heard a loud commotion and looked over by a train to see the entire Valencia soccer team getting on a train to Barcelona. It was really cool, especially because I was only about ten feet from David Villa (the star of the team).
The train was smooth sailing. I borrowed Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas from Joe because I needed a new book to read. I knocked out a good chunk. So far I haven’t really liked it, its kind of hard to follow and it takes a lot to concentrate on what is happening. I feel asleep on Laura for the last half of our trip. When we got to Madrid, I asked a security guard the best way to get to the airport because our hotel was right near the airport. He replied take the 1 or 2 train to the Ministerio stop. We took a metro train two stops down. As we were leaving, we came to the exit door and saw that we needed an actual metro slip to exit.
I asked a security guard, thinking we had done something wrong but they scanned a card and let us pass without paying. We hailed a taxi and started toward the hotel. We were still really far from the hotel and it was an 18 euro cab ride. The hotel was really nice though and it made up for the small problems we had encountered earlier. We ordered pizza to the room and watched a movie on my laptop.
We decided not to go out because Laura’s flight departs at 11:15 in the morning and we would need to get there around 9:00. This trip has been absolutely awesome, I just wish it didn’t fly by as quick as it did.
Laura and I were on a mission to try as many of the unique tastes of Valencia today. She had Doner Kebab pizza the night before and I decided she should start off with some crepes in the Plaza de la Virgen. As we enjoyed them we noted this huge wooden structure that was being constructed with the head of the Virgin Mary on it. Each year, for the first two days of Fallas every Fallera (a woman that takes part in the traditional festivities) takes a bouquet of roses and places it near the structure. An artist individually places the roses in the structure until at the end the Virgin is wearing a huge flower dress. The most amazing thing to me was the fact that this structure is about two stories tall. Most of the ninot structures have started to be constructed which is really cool, they are so big and so colorful.
We took a metro out to the beach to have a lunch picnic. It was pretty cold and overcast so it wasn’t very good beach going weather but we made the best of it. I asked a man where a Mercadona was and he lead us a couple blocks until we found it. While we were walking he said I spoke great Spanish for an American, which made me feel good. We bought some chips and salsa, bread and cheese and a bottle of wine and went out to the beach. I don’t know what came over me but I felt so sick and we left after about an hour and a half. I felt bad for making Laura leave with me, but really needed to get back.
I slept on Laura’s shoulder on the way back and felt a little better by the time we got back to the dorm. I took a power nap and woke up feeling great. Next I took Laura to Negrito and we had some Agua de Valencia, it was delicious. Next we went to Bar Pilar and had some patatas bravas (small fried potato chunks) with garlic aioli and some of their famous muscles. To top it off, as we were leaving, we stopped at a churros stand and had some sugar covered churros with a huge cup of chocolate to dip them into. We were stuffed when we got back to the dorm, we were stuffed but we went and sat with everyone in the cafeteria.
After everyone finished, we hung out for a little bit. I was excited because everyone decided to go to Roombo 141, a discotheque over by the beach. Diego, Laura and I had bought some rum and a pineapple and we used some Orange soda to make a rum punch that was out of this world. We also had some oranges and kiwi from the cafeteria that was great. We hung out in Diego and Alex’s room until 2:30 when we left for the club. One of the guys on the semi-professional baseball team we practice with is a promoter for Roombo and he got us in for a discounted price. I had never been to Roombo before and we loved it. Laura got the full dance club experience. It was packed, especially because so many people are in town for Fallas. We decided to leave around 5:00; we were both really tired from all the activities. I have been having the greatest time in here in Spain with Laura.
My second midterm of the week went really well, it was five multiple-choice problems and a 200-word essay. After the midterm, we had Culture class. We went over all of the events for Fallas. There are free concerts everyday, fireworks shows, and plenty of entertainment. The population is going to triple (from 1 million to 3 million). It is going to be crazy, and his class got me so excited for it. A lot of the Spanish citizens that live here actually leave for the week sometimes to escape the pandemonium that ensues.
After class, Caroline and I stayed at the building and waited for Diego and Laura so we could head on to an open-air market that is right near the beach. It is only open on Thursdays until 2:00. It was a thirty-minute walk from the building we made it there a little past one. It was so cool; they had hundreds of different vendors that sold everything from silverware to scarves to jackets. Laura got a couple scarves and a really cool pea coat for a total of 20 euros. I got a cactus.
We took a metro bus back to school and went to a Mercadona right near there to get some wine before the night. We made it back to the dorm just in time to grab lunch. I made a buffalo curry chicken and fry sandwich that was absolutely delicious. After lunch we had about forty-five minutes until we had to meet everyone to go to the bullfight. Laura and I were really excited. After we got our tickets, we had about thirty minutes until the fight started so we went to a bar close by and grabbed a beer with everyone.
We got into the arena just in time for the first bull. It was really pretty brutal; there were six bulls on the schedule. The bulls are tortured (stabbed multiple times) and taunted until they are actually killed by the matador. I don’t support what they were actually doing, but it was a great cultural experience. The smell of cigar smoke, traditional dress and the roar of the crowd put me right in the bullfighting scene from the Sun Also Rises. We stayed to watch three bulls meet their demise; each bull was bigger than the last and each matador had better technique than one before.
We went back to the dorm and got ready for the Valencia game. There was a huge group of us that were going. We grabbed dinner quickly at 8:00 then took a cab over to the stadium. The game was crazy; there were 9 yellow cards and a red card. The referees made a terrible call and gave Werder Bremen a free kick. We ended up tieing up the game in the second half and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. It was a blast.
After we got back, Laura took a nap to get ready to go out and I went with Diego and Taylor to O’Haras for a quick drink before she woke up. I met her at 1:45 when she woke up and we went back to O’Haras. Juanjo enjoyed meeting her. We didn’t stay too much longer; we decided to not go to a discotheque because we were both exhausted. Today was definitely one of my favorites of this entire trip.
My midterm wasn’t too bad, it was a fair test and there weren’t any surprises. During my break, I worked on my presentation that I thought I had due on Thursday only to find out that it isn’t due until after Fallas. I was happy to get it out of the way, but I would have used my time more effectively and studied for my midterm that I have on Thursday. In Linguistics, we worked on some grammar exercises with the subjunctive tense. It is pretty difficult but slowly it is making more and more sense.
After class, I met up with Laura and we had lunch at the dorm. She brought me Chic-fil-a buffalo sauce from Athens and it has made my sandwiches awesome. I need to ration it though because I only have five packets left. After lunch, we met up with Taylor and her boyfriend that is in visiting too in Plaza de Reina. They all wanted to see the Picasso exhibit that I saw last week and I was definitely up for seeing it one more time.
Taylor and I ended up guiding them in a roundabout way to the exhibit and it took a while to actually get there. We all enjoyed the exhibit though and had a great time. After, we went to Mercadona and picked up some snacks. We came back to the dorm and I had to start studying. I studied for a little bit before we went to a Tapa place. They have a special on Wednesday nights where if you buy a Montedito (a small sandwich) for one euro, you get a pint of beer for a euro. I had a blue cheese Montedito that was delicious. There was a big group of us and we split some French fries and just enjoyed the beautiful, but kind of cold night.
After, we went back and ate dinner at the dorm. It stunk, but I had to spend the rest of the night studying for my midterm. We were both really excited though because we bought tickets for the Valencia vs. Werder Bremen soccer game and found out that the group activity for tomorrow was going to a bullfight. I have been such an awesome time having Laura here, I am just mad at how fast this week is flying by.
**These are more pictures from our weekend together.
We arrived at the bus station, with forty-five minutes to spare. I had a café con leche and a salami bocadillo while Laura had a pastry and some fresh squeezed orange juice. We got on the bus and left promptly at ten. With this being our fourth trip on a bus in the past five days, we felt like ALSA pros. Little did we know how long of a trip we were in for.
The countryside was beautiful; a fresh sheet of snow blanketed the entire countryside. I was surprised to see snow because all we had was rain the night before. We stopped at a lot of small towns on the way toward the east coast that took forever. I lost track of how many towns we stopped at. I studied for my midterm while Laura read her book, The Time Traveler’s Wife.
We had a thirty-minute lunch break at one of our stops but otherwise we weren’t allowed to get off the bus. We finally made it to Valencia around 7:30 after 9 and a half hours of driving. I had no idea that our bus would not be a direct route to Valencia. We took a taxi to the Hostel where Laura is staying then I brought her by Rector Peset so she could meet everyone. We ate dinner at the dorm then called it a night. I brought Laura to her Hostel and went back to get some sleep before my midterm at 9:00 the next morning.
I had some orange juice, a coffee and a bocadillo for breakfast. The orange juice was exceptionally good, and I wish I could’ve had a second glass. Checkout wasn’t until 12:00 so we took our time getting ready. Laura read some of her book on the patio while I studied for my Business midterm on Wednesday.
We took a five-euro taxi ride to the bus station and only had to wait an hour until our bus left. I went over to McDonalds and got some fries for Laura and I to snack on while we were waiting.
The bus ride went quick, the sun was out today so the mountains looked so vivid. When we got back to Granada, We waited in a long line at the ticket counter to switch our tickets for an earlier departure from Granada on the 9th. I figured it would be best if I could get back with enough time to get situated for my midterm as opposed to getting in town at 1:30 in the morning. The man switched them out with no problem and we got a seat on the 10:00 a.m. bus.
Our hostel gave directions from the bus station. It said to get off at stop No. 4. I interpreted that to mean that the 4th stop we needed to get off. I was wrong. We ended up just taking a taxi because we had no idea how to get to the hotel after we got off the bus stop. The hostel had just been renovated and was incredible. The rooms had an Arab theme to them, a mini-fridge, glassware, and a blow dryer (Laura was most excited about this because her voltage converter she bought hasn’t worked for some reason.
Laura took a nap while I tried to figure out getting on the free Wi-Fi that was provided. I eventually took down my computer to the lobby and she said for some reason, Macs have had the hardest time connecting to it. I did use the hotel’s computer though and saw that I got a 94 on my literature paper. I was really excited.
After Laura’s nap, we walked to a market and bought some bread, cheese, and a bottle of wine for a picnic. The rain was coming down so we decided just to have a picnic in the room. It was delicious. After, we got ready and took a ten-minute walk to La Casa de Enrique. Enrique wasn’t there yet but Manolo was busy at work. Some Americans came in from Colorado, which were fun to talk to. We stayed for about 2 and half hours before we decided to head back, we had an early bus back to Valencia and we were both pretty tired. I loved Granada.
Laura and I had another enjoyable breakfast in the hotel restaurant. The orange juice was great, and we enjoyed toast with some strawberry jam again. After we checked out, we went to an Internet café and looked up the bus schedule to Almunecar. We caught the city bus to the bus station (it was about a ten minute ride). I went to the ALSA ticket counter and asked for our roundtrip tickets to Almunecar and back. I didn’t fully understand the lady and she ended up giving me a return ticket for the same day.
I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be able to switch them out but I wasn’t too worried, after all it only cost seven euros a piece. The hour and a half bus ride was really great, the clouds were hanging low on the mountains and everything was so green. When we got to Almunecar, I went to the ticket counter and the lady reluctantly switched out our tickets. I was pretty happy though.
We stopped at McDonalds right near the bus station. I had a Big Mac and an orange soda. We took a taxi to the hotel and checked in right around 2:00. Our room was really nice, it was an apartment/studio with a washer, a stove top, kitchen table and outside patio. The view of the Mediterranean was superb. We saw in the distance a huge rock with a cross on top so we decided to go explore a little.
We stopped in an ice cream shop and I had a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone that wasn’t my favorite but it was still very refreshing. It was a pretty steep hike but it was so worth it, the rock jutted out over the sea and the view was beautiful. The sun started to peak out a little bit. We decided to look for a supermarket to buy some snacks. We wandered into a ceramics shop that was really cool. The artist was actually a Vietnam veteran whose mom was from Pamplona. He never returned to the U.S. after the war.
He was actually very nice though and he took a liking to us. Laura and I bought some of his ceramics as gifts. They were handcrafted and actually very cool. We were out of luck in terms of the supermarket though; it had closed at 4:00. We stopped at a beachside café and had a beer. With the purchase of a drink came a small plate of paella that Laura tried for the first time. It wasn’t her favorite but I was proud of her for trying. The sun felt so good. There were birds all over the patio that we sat on and we watched them fight for bread pieces that other people had thrown to them.
We headed back to the room and hung out until dinnertime. We had seen a Mexican restaurant down the street and decided to check it out. The city was dead; we were the only two people in the restaurant. We enjoyed a strong margarita over some nachos and a chicken burrito. I was a little perturbed when I saw that they charged us an extra two euros for hot sauce, but it was worth it.
We finished around 11:00 and walked back to the hotel, pretty exhausted from all the day’s activities.
The breakfast buffet was out of this world; I had some toast with strawberry jam, a big glass of fresh squeezed orange juice, and an espresso. Our reservation for La Alhambra wasn’t until 3:00 so we took our time getting ready.
We were pretty disoriented when we left the hotel; we had no idea where exactly in the city we were. We ended up hopping on the first metro bus we saw and it ended up being the right bus we needed. We got up to the top of the mountain at around 12:30. I should have probably planned better but I found out that we were unable to enter the grounds of the palace until 2:00 for afternoon reservations. There was a small restaurant right near the entrance that we went to and had a glass of wine, some bread, olives and French fries. Pretty good snack if you ask me.
La Alhambra is the last Moorish palace in Spain; it is truly a work of art. I don’t know how many acres it sits on but there are so many elaborate gardens and walls. At 3:00 we were allowed to enter the actual Palace. While we were waiting in line, I commented how crappy the weather was and we both agreed that it could be a lot worse. Not one second after I said that, it started raining. We both just laughed to each other. The palace was amazing. Every wall was hand carved with such elaborate designs; it was crazy to think that people had constructed everything by hand.
We took the bus back down the mountain and hung out in the hotel until around dinnertime. We decided just to wander near our hotel and find a restaurant. We went into an Italian/Spanish restaurant that had been open for 25 years called Pepinos. We had an excellent dinner over a bottle of wine from Segovia, Spain. I had the restaurant’s special pasta called Esphaguetti Pepino; it had a white creamy sauce with shrimp and chucks of ham. It was very good but didn’t sit very well in my stomach. Laura had a four cheese pizza that I had a bite of, it was delicious.
After we left, we stopped at a Jazz café and had a coffee. It was very relaxing. We decided to stop at one more place for a beer. We stopped in a small place called La Casa de Enrique, about a block away from out hotel. It was busy when we first got there and we just talked with each other. One by one, more and more people left until it was just Laura and I, and the two workers.
Enrique, the owner started talking to me about a famous Cuban singer named Salvio Rodriguez that had just left. Laura and I ended up staying at the bar with them for another hour and a half. Laura was picking up on bits and pieces of our conversation and I also tried to translate some for her as well. The bar had been open since the 1880’s and had been owned by Enrique’s family since 1911.
Laura asked Enrique to take a picture; he was floored with the quality of Laura’s camera and kept telling her how great quality the picture was. He brought out his camera and showed it to us, then Manolo (the 22 year old that worked for him) brought out his camera and showed us pictures of his wife that he just married in July. Right before they closed, Enrique took us behind the bar to a room that he said only special guests and friends get to go, it was a very small room with a bar and some tables. We had a great time and said that we would definitely be back on Monday to see them.
We walked back to the hotel, very excited about our new experience and new friends we had just met.